August 22, 2013
It's a small universe after all - A Review of Wii U's Miiverse
Miiverse can be accessed easily on the GamePad from the Wii U main menu. It can also be accessed while other software is paused through the "home" button. Once within Miiverse, there are various tabs on the side that help with navigation. You can customize your Miiverse profile (which is public to all users), check out your activity feed to find out what the users you "follow" are saying, take a look at the activity going on in popular communities, and read messages and notifications. It's a simple and easy way to navigate Miiverse.
Nintendo maintains complete control over the types and number of communities in Miiverse. This is a good and bad thing. Good because it keeps Miiverse simple, so unnecessary wading through fanmade communities is not required. Bad because some more obvious communities are absent from the mix, including (as a friend of mine pointed out) a general Wii U community. Overall, however, I think the good outweighs the bad. I appreciate Miiverse's simplicity and restriction.
So what sorts of things appear in Miiverse communities? Posts can be up to around 200 characters long each (or simply drawn on the GamePad's touch screen), can include an emoticon of some sort, and can have a label attached (things like "question" and "impressions"). Oh, and I mentioned that Miiverse can be accessed while a game is suspended. Well, whatever appears on the TV and GamePad when the suspension occurs can be posted as a screenshot in Miiverse. This is very handy in a number of ways. It's that simple to show off accomplishments, ask questions, answer questions...et cetera, et cetera. Additionally, there are ways users can interact with each other. They can comment on each other's posts or just give out "Yeah!'s" as much as desired. It's actually a lot of fun to do this and feel a part of Nintendo's community of gamers.
You don't have to own a game to see its Miiverse community. This is especially nice in the Art Academy: Sketchpad community, I've found. I have next to zero artistic talent, but I can check out the amazing creations others have posted in the Art Academy community. I've probably given out more "Yeah!'s" here than in all of the other communities combined by now.
With Nintendo's tight grip on Miiverse, it really is a small universe after all. But this has its advantages. You don't have to spend ages looking around to find the right community for you. The simplicity is much appreciated by me. That said, Miiverse is a lot of fun to spend a little time in here and there. The interaction you can have with other Wii U owners is a lot of fun. Miiverse is: